Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Ready for the 2016 season? No? Too bad.

Yes, of course as a tennis fan, having the new season start roughly fifteen minutes after the last season is great. Look, it's the first week of January and Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka are going to face off at the Brisbane tournament in Melbourne. Sounds good to me!
However, if I'm honest, I'd rather see that matchup at the year-end championships in November as the culmination of a competitive season. You know, when it means something.
I've never understood this insistence that the Australian Open has to start in mid-January. It's about 1,000 degrees in Australia at this time and players drop like flies. Every. Year. So combine that with about 1.5 months to recover from the previous season and you're asking for trouble.
What kind of trouble? The kind of trouble when you think you're gonna watch Serena Williams play Hopman Cup, but she's injured. The kind where you get all geeked up about watching Halep and Azarenka play and Halep gets injured. When Maria Sharapova doesn't even make it onto the court. Even if this is athletes playing lame to get more rest time, and I don't think it is (check out Pam Shriver's Twitter feed for video of Serena trying to serve today), it points to a larger issue.
This might sound like a player problem, but I'm completely selfish here. If quality suffers, fans get to become fans of cribbage.
What? It could happen.

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